Daniel Harding

Orchestre de Paris, Music Director
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Music Director
Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Conductor Laureate

Credit: Julian Hargreaves


Daniel Harding is currently enjoying his inaugural season as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris. He is also Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with whom in 2017 he celebrates his 10-year anniversary, and Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, with whom he has worked for over 20 years. In the 2014/15 season he devised and curated the celebrated Interplay Festival with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, presenting a series of concerts and related inspirational talks and installations involving artists, academics, scientists and philosophers. The influential programming continues to be a popular feature at Berwaldhalle.  A renowned opera conductor, his current projects include Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the Teatro Reggio Turin, the Wiener Staatsoper and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. He continues to work regularly with the Wiener Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bayerischer Rundfunk Orchestra Munich, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the London Symphony Orchestra. He is a qualified aeroplane pilot.


Performance Schedule

From The Green Room


  • 21 Apr 17 Verdi Il Trovatore
    Opéra de Monte-Carlo
    More info  

    “Enfin, à la tête d’un Orchestre philharmonique de Monte-Carlo rutilant, le jeune chef britannique Daniel Harding – nommé récemment directeur musical de l’Orchestre de Paris – offre une lecture du chef d’œuvre de Verdi qui se caractérise tant par le sens dramatique que par la beauté de la ligne mélodique, en un séduisant équilibre entre élans héroïques et épanchements lunaires.”

    “Finally, the brilliant Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo was conducted by the young British conductor Daniel Harding, recently nominated Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris. He gave a masterful reading of Verdi’s score, characterised by both a sense of drama and a beautiful melodic line, which created a perfect balance between heroic passion and night atmosphere.”

    Emmanuel Andrieu, Opera-online, 26 April 2017

    “Musiciens aussi les instrumentistes de l’Orchestre Philharmonique qui, manifestement ravis de leur travail avec Daniel Harding, accueillent son entrée dans la fosse à grand renfort de battements de pied. L’ancien assistant de Simon Rattle et de Claudio Abbado … A l’instar de ses anciens mentors il est arrivé avec une connaissance minutieuse de la partition qui lui a permis d’indiquer clairement ses objectifs, en particulier dans le domaine des couleurs, des nuances et de la dynamique.”

    The Orchestre Philharmonique gave a great musical performance and seemed to enjoy its work with Daniel Harding. He was warmly welcomed by the audience, who were tapping their feet. The young conductor started his career as Simon Rattle’s and Claudio Abbado’s assistant … Like his old mentors, he arrived with a perfect knowledge of the score. Thanks to this, his reading was pretty clear, especially regarding the colours, the nuances and the dynamics of music.”

    Maurice Salles, Forum Opera, 21 April 2017

    “…Daniel Harding, at his best when lavishing attention on the (sometimes) creamy Leonora of Maria Agresta: ‘Tacea la notte placida’ was especially spellbinding.”

    Jonathon Brown, Operanow, June 2017

  • 17 Mar 17
    GMJO Easter Tour
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    Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (17 & 18 March)

    “Aos 41 anos, Hardinf é porventura o mais brilhante maestro britanico…”

    At just 41 years-old, Harding is perhaps the most brilliant British conductor…

    Jorge Cadaldo, Expresso, 25 March 2017


    Auditorio Nacional de Musica Madrid, Madrid (21 March)

    “Con Harding espectuacular al frente, la GMJO brillò en du maxima intensidad.”

    The GMJO shines at its maximum thanks to Harding’s spectacular conducting.

    Ramón del Buet Cañas, Bachtrack, 21 March 2017


    “Harding … conosce molto bene questo repertorio, e la sua concezione stilistica nell’affrontate la Quinta é chiara sin dall’inizio: sonorità grandiose degli ottoni, pause dilatate al massimo, leggerezza e rapidità nelle frasi dei fiati”

    [Harding] knows this repertoire very well. His stylistic ideas are clear in his conducting of Bruckner Symphony No. 5: strong brass, Long pauses, lightness and speed in the wind phrases.”

    Michele Curnis, GBOPERA, 23 March 2017


    Philharmonie Luxembourg, Luxemborug (23 March)

    “Le mystère sacrè que Harding fait entrevoir chez Bruckner ne s’exprime pas par des coups de tonnerre, il se révèle dans le silence et le clair-obscur. Même sa gestuelle sobre le dit: hading ne se veut pas un titam qui dèchaîme les éléments. C’est le résultat d’une conception passionante de l’oeuvre qui’il joue ce soir, mais c’est aussi, sans doute, le résultat d’une conception collégiale de son art qui le met á l’écoute de ses musician.”

    The sacred mystery of Harding’s Bruckner does not lie in the sound of the percussion, but within the silence and chiaroscuro; moreover, his sober gesture reveal how he does not think of himself as a titan in control of the elements. His conception is created both with his passion and collaboration with the musicians.

    Dominique Adrian, ResMusica, 26 March 2017


    Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris (25 March)

    “…Daniel Harding arrive à incorporer Schumann.”

    Daniel Harding embodies Schumann.

    Dionysios Dervis-Bournais, Le Huffington Post, 27 March 2017


    Auditorio de Zaragoza, Zaragoza (27 March)

    “Fue la de Harding una Version limpia, clara, con planos bien defindos y pausas marcadas que mostaron los contrastes que la obra encierra.”

    Harding gives a clear and limpid version of the piece. The very effective pianos and the marked pauses show the contrasts that this symphony has in itself.

    Javier del Olivo, Platea Magazine, 28 March 2017


    Teatro Comunale di Ferrara, Ferrara (29 March)

    “Daniel Harding ha in commune con Abbado la dedizione totale all’opera, che viene sviscerata in tutte le sue potenzioalità, senza che la figura del direttore occupy il primo piano ma diventi piuttosto un tramite affinché il disegno attorno alle note sia reso I tutta la sua delicata complessità. Harding dirige con eleganza ed empatia totale con I musicisti…”

    Daniel Harding shares with Abbado a total dedication to the piece: indeed, the symphony is explored in every possible way. The conductor does not occupy a major role, but becomes the mean to express the complex delicacy of the piece. Harding conducts with great elegance and great empathy towards his musicians…

    Monica Pavoni, Il resto del Carlino, 2 April 2017


    Alte Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurt (2 April)

    “Dirigent koordinierte Daniel Harding das schwierige Zusammenspiel des ensembles mit seinerklaren Zeichengebung souveran”

    Daniel Harding coordinates the difficult interplay of the ensemble with clear direction.

    Guido Holze, Frankfurter Allgemeine, 4 April 2017


  • 16 Sep 16 Schumann Faustszenen Orchestre de Paris
    Philharmonie de Paris
    More info  

    “A bold choice for Harding, but entirely justified by the burningly dramatic performance. Harding showed that Schumann’s allegedly awkward orchestration is often brilliantly original, particularly in the final scenes in heaven when he coaxed sounds of antique gravity from the strings.”

    Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2016 

  • 01 Sep 16 Rameau & Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
    Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    “Harding’s own Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra are stylish in both. There’s some brazen playing to enjoy – the low brass in March to the Scaffold sound like a foghorn – but the impression of a lack of refinement is deceptive: the balance and pace are always tautly in check. Another Symphonie Fantastique, by the Concertgebouw, under Daniele Gatti, is released this month, but next to Harding’s it sounds grey.”
    Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 1 September 2016 

  • 19 Aug 16 Beethoven & Mahler Edinburgh International Festival 2016
    Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    “Harding’s vast experience in Mahler shone through in his unflinching grasp of the composer’s great spans, but with an ear for the big gesture and the ability to cut through the swathe of sound to bring out telling details, including the more gemütlich moments like the fleeting violin solos of the first movement, or the occasional sweet string episodes in the Ländler.  That movement seemed perpetually to teeter on the brink of chaos, with swaggering brass and string playing that could, by turns, sound raw or refined (with some very cheeky rubato from the second violins), and the biting Rondo dissolved into a blissful central episode, where a beautiful trumpet solo was answered by smiling violins.  Harding’s interpretation seemed to grow in stature as the symphony progressed – you’ll go a long way to hear the great string span of the finale sounding as richly emotive as we heard tonight – and the delicate shading of the closing pages is something that I won’t forget in a hurry.  The audience sat in a rapt silence after the final chord died away, no one daring to clap and break the spell.  That’s the finest tribute you can pay to any Mahler 9.”
    Simon Thompson, Seen and Heard, 20 August 2016 

    “There was much to admire about the considered and very unhistrionic way that Daniel Harding navigated the great anguished swells, about the cleanliness of his gestures and the cool logic of his pacing. And there was plenty of fine playing from the Swedish orchestra of which he is Music Director: that fine-tuned elasticity that comes from excellent ensemble discipline.”
    Kate Molleson, Herald Scotland, 20 August 2016 

  • 09 Jun 16 Bartok / Dvorak 9th June 2016
    London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre
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    “Harding brought an old-world flexibility to the Symphony, beginning far-away from the marked Allegro con brio, but how expressive and confiding it was and how persuasive were his emphases and ritardandos amidst the foot-stamping vitality; and there was room for shades and shadows that are rarely present in this outgoing masterpiece, bountiful of song and dance.”
    Colin Anderson, Classical Source, 9 June 2016 

  • 05 Jun 16 Mahler Symphony No. 2
    Barbican Centre, London Symphony Orchestra
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    “Harding launched this huge work in the grandest style and the double-bass players responded with a violent shudder which set the tone of authenticity to the very end. He was attentive to the many nuances in the score. The massive structure of the opening ‘funeral march’ was wonderfully realised. Harding was in total command of his intentions and the LSO responded with splendour and beauty, the quietest passages being as effective as the explosions. The recapitulation caused hairs to stand up like Hitchcock achieves in his best movies. This was the life-force in full flow.’…’Harding was loving in his attention to detail and numerous expressive markings were scrupulously observed.’…’Honours can be shared around but the top accolade must go to Harding whose gut-wrenching way with so much of this music bore down on a capacity audience. It was a privilege to be there.”
    Edward Clark, Classical Source, 5 June 2016

  • 20 Mar 16 Schumann Faust-Szenen
    Barbican Centre
    More info  

    “Harding conducted with a fine softness of palette and intimacy, drawing subtle playing from the LSO.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 22 March 2016 

    “This performance by the LSO conducted by Daniel Harding, with a good-as-it-gets cast of Christian Gerhaher, Christiane Karg, Andrew Staples, Lucy Crowe and Matthew Rose, was as fine a showcase as you could reasonably hope.’…’The performance was full of highlights’…’Harding made a terrific case for it all. Great stuff.”
    Opera Now Magazine, May 2016

  • 06 Dec 15 Mozart & Bruckner London Symphony Orchestra
    Barbican Centre
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    “The transition to the coda was superbly managed, Harding bringing the symphony to a grand and exciting conclusion.”

    Christian Hoskins, Music OMH, 6 December 2015

  • 24 May 15 Beethoven & Brahms 24th May 2015
    London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican
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    “Harding, meanwhile, conducted like one possessed. Unforgettable: the greatest performance of the work I’ve ever heard.”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 26 May 2015

    “Harding’s rapport with the LSO has deepened too. If there were some dangerously ponderous tempi in the Brahms, Harding drew excellent playing from the orchestra and everything had purpose and conviction.”
    Neil Fisher, The Times, 26 May 2015 

    “A generous and thrilling bit of music-making not just from Tetzlaff but also the LSO, galvanised into Rattle-level intensity and eagerness by Harding and their soloist.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, 25 May 2015 

  • 12 Dec 14 Mahler Symphony No. 6 "Tragic"
    Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonie
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    “Daniel Harding’s connection with the orchestra goes back two decades – he was Abbado’s assistant in the mid-90s – and although his substitution for the indisposed Kirill Petrenko occurred so late that it was only indicated by an insert into the programme, there was absolutely no sense of anything but unanimity between conductor and musicians. Harding’s gestures met with immediate and vivid responses, and the many treacherous tempo changes were navigated almost immaculately.”

    David Larkin, Bachtrack, 5 December 2014 

  • 10 Nov 14 Schumann Scenes from Goethe's Faust
    Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    “Since Britten’s pioneering version in 1972 (Decca), Schumann’s late setting of extracts from Goethe’s epic poem has enjoyed a charmed life on disc. Frühbeck de Burgos (EMI), Abbado (Sony) and Harnoncourt (RCO Live) are stiff competition for Harding, but the British conductor rises to the challenge magnificently in this live Bavaraian Radio recording, superlatively played and sung.’…’Harding scores with his casting’…’A record of the year, no doubt”
    Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 9 November 2014 

    “Harding’s handling of the whole span of the score is also deeply impressive. The detail is telling but never overdone, the build up to the glorious peroration paced very expertly.”
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 15 October 2014 

  • 29 Oct 14 European Tour 2014
    Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    “Daniel Harding conducted the piece and lit up the score, revealing it’s finest qualities.”
    Bernhard Hartmann, General Anzeiger, 22 October 2014 

    “The Swedish orchestra are comfortably in the top of the European Leagues. For the last eight years, Daniel Harding and the musicians of the orchestra have created a wonderful relationship.”
    Werner Häußner, Der Westen, 21 October 2014 

  • 27 Oct 14 Mahler Symphony No. 9 London Symphony Orchestra
    Barbican Centre, London
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    “The LSO players, as expected, sounded marvellous, but it was Harding’s overall vision of the piece that brought the piece to its full emotional impact.

    Harding retained tight control of the orchestra throughout, ensuring that the complex counterpoint could always be heard with precision and brilliance.

    Harding’s restrained interpretation was all the more moving. The orchestra adopted a lean rather than lush sound, allowing them to respond to the multitude of solos scattered throughout the movement.

    A truly remarkable performance”

    Kevin W NG, Bach Track, 26 October 2014 

  • 19 Jul 14 Beethoven Piano Concertos 3 & 4
    Maria-João Pires & Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    “The cleanliness of these interpretations is reinforced by the sounds of Daniel Harding conducting his Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – smooth, suave, lightly sprinkled with aftershave. ”
    Geoff Brown, The Times, 18 July 2014